Archive for the ‘Podcasts’ Category

Podcast: Help Kids See Differently

Brave Writer Podcast

I am recording some of my Tea with Julie emails for the podcast for those of you who prefer to listen. These are messages of support for your life of parenting and educating, as well as taking good care of you. If you’d like to receive them, they are free. Sign up at bravewriter.com/tea


How did it go thinking about surprise as a force for good?

In our Brave Writer podcast series on the four forces of enchantment, it’s time to look at the second force, which is “mystery.”

Let’s explore:

  • what mystery is,
  • why it’s a critical tool for developing a sense of enchantment,
  • and the ways you can facilitate a sense of mystery in your kids’ lives.

Show Notes

Complete Tea with Julie notes can be found HERE.

Resources

Connect with Julie

Brave Writer Podcast

Podcast: One Thing

Brave Writer Podcast

Let me know if this sounds familiar:

You’re trying to think about all of the things you need to accomplish, not just in a day, but over the course of your child’s life—from birth to adulthood? Eating, walking, reading, writing, riding a bike, instilling good morals… the list goes on! And homeschooling only adds more of that responsibility onto your plate. It can be so overwhelming.

So how do we plan a life that accounts for each child’s personal needs and gets them to the finish line of adulthood well-educated, behaved, kind, and ready to live life on their own?

We do it one thing at a time.

Show Notes

Research shows that multitasking, that thing so many of us love to do—it feels so efficient!—is actually a myth. It isn’t real. What we’re really doing while multitasking is rapidly switching between two tasks, not doing two things at once. The worst part is that each time we switch, we’re losing efficiency and focus. We’re doing two things poorly.

When you want to have success in parenting or homeschooling, you need your deep, attentive focus state.

We want our material to do the instructing for us, and we are just there for supervision. This is called “open and go” curriculum. The problem is that, just like a car, if you’re not paying attention to where you’re steering, you’re going to crash. If you’re not present to the content, you can’t guarantee that your child is going to end up at the right destination. So what do you do? You use The One Thing Principle.

The One Thing Principle says this: Use the deep attention focus state to accomplish your most important goals in parenting and educating.

Remember: we are home educators. We are not recreating school. One of the biggest advantages to being at home is the ability to go in-depth when studying or pursuing an interest. With this principle, we can do so guilt-free.

Resources

Connect with Julie

Brave Writer Podcast

Podcast: Natural Stages of Growth in Writing

Brave Writer Podcast

It’s summertime! Are you planning for the upcoming school year? Whether you’re homeschooling or sending kids to a traditional school, writing is that one skill that so many of us find unnerving.

One of the big problems is that your child’s age or grade level doesn’t tell you much about your writer. Writing develops the same way as any other skill: over time, at the writers’ own pace.

Over 22 years of working with tens of thousands of students, I’ve developed what I call the natural stages of growth in writing and my confidence in its accuracy has only solidified over time.

Today on the Brave Writer podcast, we’re going to walk through each of those stages.

Show Notes

  • [04:58] Beginning Writers: Jot it Down (5-7)

This is the stage where a child is too young to write and isn’t quite reading yet, but is so eager to self-express. They are a writer in need of a secretary—someone to jot down their thoughts and read those thoughts back to them so they can experience being authors long before being able to write for themselves. This stage focuses on delight and the joy of writing.

  • [07:51] Emerging Writers: Partnership Writing (8-10)

In this stage, you are a partner with your child in writing. Participating in the writing process with our child is not cheating, but in fact opens them up to the benefits of the adult’s vocabulary, as well as the mental processing of getting words onto the page. The challenge is the gap between a child’s oral fluency and their writing, spelling, and punctuation skills. This is normal—children will continue to grow into the mechanics of writing, and your participation helps.

  • [10:31] Middle School Writers: Building Confidence (11-12)

We tend to see two dichotomies at this stage of writing: Either a child shows a lot of enthusiasm for writing, or they absolutely hate it—often swapping between the two. They may write a lot one day only to refuse to write the next. Their spelling and punctuation may seem strong only to shift into reckless mistakes. They have a lot of competence, but many of their skills are still under construction. Allow them to self-express in the ways they like, and then give them rest from that commitment. The rough edges will smooth themselves out over time.

  • [15:39] High School Writers: Experimenting with Forms (13-14)

Once your child has built confidence and experience in using writing as a tool, they are ready to learn how to put that writing into the formats of academic life. These formats require a level of maturity and rhetorical imagination that doesn’t typically form until puberty. Kids at this stage feel comfortable with writing in general, even if they don’t yet know how to write an essay.

  • [17:29] College Prep Writers: Joining the Conversation (15-18)

Your kids, when they enter academic life, are joining a conversation already in progress. As your kids get an education, they are going to be reading what the experts and others have to say and amassing an understanding of what interests them the most. By the time they graduate, they will be called on to make meaningful contributions to those fields.

  • [19:43] Adult Writers: Fluent and Competent (18 and beyond)

These are adults not afraid to write their words, including professional writers, academics, and confident, competent adults. Once you’ve made it through all of the stages of writing, you should be able to face any writing task without worry or intimidation.

Visit bravewriter.com/stages to learn more about how our products and classes are organized according to these stages and find the ones that are going to help you.

Resources

Connect with Julie

Brave Writer Podcast

Podcast: Be Open to Surprise

Brave Writer Podcast

I am recording some of my Tea with Julie emails for the podcast for those of you who prefer to listen. These are messages of support for your life of parenting and educating, as well as taking good care of you. If you’d like to receive them, they are free. Sign up at bravewriter.com/tea


If we want our kids to be open to surprise then so should we be.

One of the most difficult parts of any relationship is the fantasy we create in our heads of how it should go as compared with how it really is. We have scripts, we have characters, we have motivations.

But sometimes, if we stay open, if we can hold back from projecting our expectations onto the ones we love, we might find ourselves surprised.

Show Notes

Complete Tea with Julie notes can be found HERE.

Resources

Connect with Julie

Brave Writer Podcast

Podcast: Reading for Our Lives with Maya Payne Smart

Brave Writer Podcast

Maya Payne Smart is a writer, parent educator, and literacy advocate who has served on the boards of numerous library and literacy organizations. She and her family live in Milwaukie, Wisconsin where she serves as affiliated faculty in Educational Policy and Leadership in the College of Education at Marquette University. At her website, MayaSmart.com, she provides tips and tools for parents to nurture, teach, and advocate for kids on the road to reading.

Maya’s new book, Reading for Our Lives, provides a powerful action plan to encourage and foster literacy skills in children from birth through six years of age. One of the beautiful things about this book is how well her philosophy dovetails with those of Brave Writer.

Show Notes

For many homeschooling parents, teaching kids to read is one of the biggest and scariest challenges in early education. We may hope that our kids will learn through immersion—and in fact, that is how some learn—but it’s not a guarantee, and parents have to be prepared to provide their own guidance.

In her book, Maya offers six levels that parents can pull to facilitate a language-rich pre-reading context:

1. Conversation

We grow our kids’ vocabulary through conversation. As we talk with them, they are learning the meaning of words, the context in which to use them and labeling things in their environment. Through exchanges in dialogue, our kids’ brain function and structure grows—even before they are verbal themselves.

2. Reading

The first thing we often think about when it comes to literacy is, of course, reading. There is a certain magic to reading that can create incredible memories for our kids, expand their vocabulary, and stretch their imagination. Reading is also incredibly accessible, whether it’s books from the library or labels and signs around the house or neighborhood.

3. Explicit teaching

While kids can learn a lot simply through exposure, there are some things that may just have to be outright taught. Letter names, shapes, and sounds for instance are harder to get naturally and can often be streamlined with the hard-won insights we adults may have. For instance, many kids may not realize that all letters are made up of just three elements: Lines, dots, and curves. Once they realize this, the act of building shapes and letters becomes so much simpler.

4. Connecting

We all have connections in everyday life that can be used as teaching resources: Friends, family, librarians, and parents of other children can all help aid in the development of your kid’s literacy. These people can also often provide information on other resources within your community.

5. Budgeting

People are beginning to doubt the public school system to teach their kids reading skills, and more and more parents and guardians are paying tutors or private educators to aid their children. There are also other investments, such as going to museums, that can aid in our children’s learning. While this may not be for everyone, it is a common lever people are using to get reading outcomes for their kids.

6. Advocacy

Each child walks their own path, and each school is going to approach teaching differently. Parents can advocate both for their community and support good schools, but it also means advocating for your kids’ own needs.

Teaching kids literacy is about the long game. It’s about taking small actions regularly that are going to support learning, but it’s not going to happen overnight. The important thing is to realize that the things you do contribute to your child’s learning and how to support that every day.

Resources

Connect with Julie


Brave Writer Podcast